Published on October 15th, 2013 | by Shopmaster5
ESPN Footage, Next-Gen Graphics, and the Expectations of Hardcore Gamers
Early yesterday ESPN posted their usual Monday Night Football Madden 25 video simulation of that nights matchup between the Colts and the Chargers. The video in my opinion was good, especially with what they were trying to show which was just the simulation of the game. This wasn’t a video where they wanted you to see how the gameplay was improved, it was a highlight reel of MNF matchup. What a lot of people were looking for though was a gameplay video and because that wasn’t it, it received a lot of negative feedback from hardcore gamers looking for next-generation gameplay footage.
I’m not sure what guys are looking for, in one sentence I hear guys saying oh that doesn’t look like next generation graphics and then when EA shows close up so you can see next generation graphics, it’s we want to see gameplay. Even Owen Good of Kotaku mentioned this in his article yesterday when talking about the video and how’s he has even changed his tune from one week to another.
I realize that I’ve chastised sports video games for pushing out heavily manicured next-gen trailers that show nothing of the games as actually played by real living people. Then ESPN goes and offers a full minute of standard gameplay for next-gen Madden, and I’m now saying that’s not good enough either. – Owen Good, Kotaku
Let’s talk Next Generation graphics for a minute. It is my opinion that the graphics will look a lot better close up but pulled away will probably not look stunning as people may think. Everybody was gushing over the NBA 2K14 Next Gen TV Spot but nothing of what they showed is what you’ll actually see if you are playing the game, same goes for the videos that EA SPORTS has been putting out as well. I’m not saying that you won’t notice a graphic upgrade but when you are playing NBA 2K14 are you going to see the wrinkles in Lebron’s head or the detail of Hardens beard when you go to the hoop. You may see it in a cut scene, but not when you are driving to the basket or backing down in the post. You never play from the angles that we have been shown, that’s why I’m holding out for real gameplay videos. I want to see two people playing or someone playing the CPU, not cut scenes or at angles that I’ll never play with. I don’t care about the “individual rendered grass” or the “sweat beads” that drop from a player face when he’s at the FT line. Those are things I won’t see unless I go into replay and zoom in and who’s gonna do that while playing. I made a comment on twitter that if I was either 2K or EA SPORTS I wouldn’t show another video until release. Why, you may ask? Well I just think the next-gen consoles have been touted to have all of this power but I don’t think that either of the development companies have had a chance to tap into that power fully. I don’t think they’ve had the time. I don’t think you’ll see that big of a difference this year when the camera is pulled back from current-gen and next-gen. I think the crowd will be a lot better, the stadiums will be a lot better, zoomed in player models will look a lot better but probably not that much noticeable from a standard camera view. That’s just my opinion and I know others in the gaming industry feel the same way.
I know what you are saying though … “Shop, I could care less about how it looks. Will it play better?” Well if we are talking about Madden 25, I would hope so. With that said, let me remind you that this is still Madden 25. I think a lot of guys feel like this should be a whole new game with more features but I’m not sure that will be the case. I believe it should play better because EA SPORTS has been touting this Ignite Engine that has “True Step” and better OL/DL interaction. I mean I’ve seen the double team pass blocking in one of the Madden 25 videos, so I’m guessing overall the gameplay is going to be better. As far as new features, I don’t think so. Let me remind you what happened when we switched consoles and Madden 06 came out for the XBOX 360. It looked a lot better than the current gen version at that time, the sound was better, the presentation was better but the gameplay was horrible. I mean really horrible. I’m confident that the EA SPORTS team won’t make the same mistakes, but the illusion that you are not going to see any of the same animations in the game that you’ve seen before is asking for a little too much. I saw someone say that. They said they are seeing the same animations that are in current gen, well what do you want, there are but only so many realistic animations in the game. And that goes for any sports game, no way are they going to scrap every animation they had before and add new ones. Do I expect to see new animations added to FIFA, NBA 2K, and Madden … yes, but I also want to see the 100s of ones that were in the game already as well.
Do I fault EA SPORTS for giving ESPN a Madden 25 Simulation video, no I sure don’t, but I think they would do themselves some good if they put out a video with some of the developers that talk about the gameplay differences in Madden 25 for current-gen and next-gen. I love highlight videos like the next guy, but with the release only a month away don’t show anything else unless you show specifically what gameplay changes are new and improved. Like I stated earlier though I wouldn’t show anything.
As hardcore gamers what do we expect for game developers to show for next-gen consoles? On my radio show we talked about how we used to buy games and not seen anything about that game before it was released. There were no demos or gameplay videos when I first started playing Madden, but now it’s almost as if we are entitled to see something and are outraged when we don’t. I understand that we pay our hard earned money for a product that we expect to be a certain way, but don’t demos do that? I just never get hyped over a video and a video never sells me the game or not. Especially videos that contain no information. For instance, that NBA 2K14 TV Spot that 2K showed didn’t really tell me anything but that the players look good at certain camera angles. It didn’t show me if the gameplay is better, but I don’t think any of the next-gen sports videos do. I did like EA’s presentation trailer video because it had developers talking about what’s new with next-gen and I’m hoping they do a similar one for gameplay. I just have a feeling that if they do, guys will still be asking to see raw uncut gameplay footage and I don’t think that’s something they are going to show.
So as a gamer and one that like Sports Games in particular, what kind of video do you want to see? Would you rather see a video where developers talk about what’s different or would you like to see raw uncut gameplay video where you have to figure out what has chancged?
BTW – Can we see some NBA Live 14 Videos … ahhh that’s a whole other post.